Hundreds of brightly colored flags popped up at two Kirkland parks recently as part of a city campaign to encourage dog owners to scoop and throw away dog waste.
Visitors to Juanita Beach Park and Hazen Hills Park may have noticed bright yellow survey flags indicating where un-scooped dog poop was discovered during a three-week observation period in September. According to a press release, city staff marked 66 instances of un-scooped poop along the shoreline of Juanita Beach, with another 105 cases on the north side of the park. Ninety-four cases were documented at Hazen Hills Park in the Evergreen Hill neighborhood.
Kirkland’s estimated 20,000 dogs generate almost 6,000 pounds of dog poop every day. Dog waste contains harmful bacteria and germs that can spread diseases to other dogs and wildlife. When it rains, dog waste washes away to the nearest storm drain, stream, creek or lake. The bacteria in dog poop can harm water quality and can make swim and play areas unsafe.
The most effective way to prevent the spread of disease and water pollution is to scoop the poop bag it and put it in the trash, according to city officials.
“Picking up and properly disposing of pet waste is an easy way to protect the health of our pets, our families, our parks and our waterways,” Kirkland councilmember Jon Pascal said in the release. “The city is doing our part by providing education, resources such as poop bag dispensers and enforcement of our scoop law. We need all of our community members to join us by doing their part and cleaning up after their pets.”
To aid in this effort, the city has installed six new dog poop bag dispensers alongside trash cans in Juanita Beach Park and Hazen Hills Park. Community members are also being asked to sign a pledge to be a Super Dooper Pooper Scooper. The Super Scooper’s pledge is to scoop dog poop at home weekly, take poop bags on dog walks, scoop poop every time and put the scooped poop in the trash. Signing the pledge will get Kirkland residents a free poop scoop toolkit.